Reed was a star athlete in hockey, soccer, and baseball at St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode, but chose to focus on baseball for his professional career. In three years with the Gators Reed hit .275/.353/.384, which are not spectacular numbers, but he was still one of the best athletes in the draft which led the Padres to select him in the second round of the 2016 draft.
After two mediocre years, Reed broke out last season with High-A Lake Elsinore, hitting .324/.371/.549 with 33 stolen bases in 79 games. His performance earned him a trip to the Future’s Game where he made a sparkling play in center field, robbing teammate Fernando Tatis, Jr. of a home run.
He was promoted in mid-season to San Antonio, where he struggled with more advanced pitching hitting .179/.227/.235 before bouncing back in the Arizona Fall League at .333/.397/.485 in 73 plate appearances.Except for one big week, where he hit five home runs in six games, Reed has struggled with a .205/282/.410 slash line.
“He has off-the-charts athleticism,” said his manager Phillip Wellman. “We have got to get him to buy into making adjustments to making more contact. I feel safe saying that every night he is the fastest guy on the field.
“For him to strike out as much as he does, and to hit as many fly balls as he does is sinful to me. We don’t want him hitting it on the ground – no one wants anyone to hit it on the ground – but he needs to change the trajectory of his swing.
“There have been games where I have challenged him to not have any pop-ups, and he’s gotten a few hits, and then it’s back to the same thing the next game.
“With his speed, he can do a lot of things, and it plays on both sides of the ball. We have to get it out of him.”
MadFriars: You had a real up and down season so far. What has gone well, and what are you looking to improve upon?
Buddy Reed: I had that week where I was hot; hitting home runs and getting on base, so that was pretty nice. For me, it’s just trying to come out and compete every day, mainly by staying in the zone more and cutting down on my chases.
That is something that is really imperative in the Padres’ organization. It is much easier said than done, but it is my job. So the biggest thing for me is to keep refining my approach and stay in the zone.
I believe when I interviewed you in Tri-City and asking about the differences in your swing from each side. To me, it looks like a small difference; is there?
Buddy Reed: Obviously, it is a different feel, and I almost try to mimic the same swing. There are differences in what I am trying to do.
Do you ever get hot on one side and cold on the other?
Buddy Reed: [laughs] I try not to. In Double-A, I have seen more lefties, so I am getting more right-handed at-bats than ever before. I feel good from both sides.
I’ve talked to you when you are doing well and when you aren’t. You always are the same person. How do you keep from not getting too high or too low?
Buddy Reed: It’s baseball. It’s a game of failure. I see it as a lot like life; there are times you will do well, and other times when you will not. The biggest thing for me is making sure I am in the right frame of mind to compete the best way that I can.
For me, that is trying to have as much fun as I can. One day I’m not going to be able to play baseball anymore, and when I leave, I want to know that I gave it the best shot that I could.
I’m not just playing for myself but my family and my teammates. So I try not to put too much pressure on myself.
On a non-baseball front, you have always been a big world traveler. You have been to Australia and Europe many times. What drives you to want to go to so many different places?
Buddy Reed: For me, you only have so long to live in this life, and I want to see as much of the world as I possibly can. Each offseason it’s somewhere new. Last off-season I was in Italy, and next year I want to go back to Europe – maybe the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, London, and many other places.
I love to go with my family and friends. I’ve always had a great time.
What is the outlook for Chelsea in the Premier League going forward?
Buddy Reed: They are fourth on the table right now. They have always been solid staying near the top, but it’s been an up and down year for them. They are in the Europa semi-finals now, so hopefully, they can keep going.
Next year I would like to see them get some more additions, especially with Real Madrid look at Eden Hazard, one of their best players. We need another piece for the attack.